MLK shaped by Connecticut town






When you think of Martin Luther King Jr.'s formative years, you think may think of Atlanta, where he grew up and attended Morehouse College. You may think of Montgomery, Ala., where he got his first pastor job and led the bus boycott. But who would ever think of Simsbury, Conn.?

"It seemed like it wasn't possible that he would come to, of all places, this town," said Richard Curtiss.

Curtiss is a history teacher at Simsbury High School. Last summer he worked with a group of students who took it upon themselves to investigate this mystery.

The legend was that young Martin Luther King Jr. spent several months working in the tobacco fields. He would have been part of a group of Morehouse students who used to spend their summers in this Connecticut valley to earn money for school.

That part was common knowledge. But King?

"There is proof that he was here," said John Conard-Malley.


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Thomas Holloway - 1/20/2011

For anyone skeptical about tobacco growing in that part of the world, check out the film "Parrish," a Troy Donahue vehicle with Claudette Colbert and Karl Malden, from 1961 (IMDB is your friend).

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